Kryptonite, Rockford, IL 2/28/04

By Dr. Abner Mality

First time in a while I passed through the hallowed doors of Kryptonite and naturally it was to see some of the Stateline's finest in action. This was one of The Heavils last "local" shows before going on tour with Slipknot and Fear Factory, as well as Six Feet Under. And it was also a good chance to see them give a sneak preview of material from their forth-coming sophomore album.

First up, though, was NDE from Cleveland, Ohio. Dunno if the name stands for "Near Death Experience", "Non-Destructive Examination" or "Not Dumb Enough", but I can tell you that they kicked my ass sure enough. I don't think Kryptonite has seen such a heavy band in a long time...they came out with all guns blazing and long hair flying. Opening track was great catchy thrash with ball-injuring severity. In fact, so vicious was the drummer's attack that his kick pedal rig broke right away and there was an awkward pause until Jack from Man Made Man came to the rescue with his own rig. NDE went right back at it like nothing happened, hammering away with more of their leadweight assault. I can't totally call these guys a thrash band, I can't really call them a chunky groove metal band, I can't call them a nu-metal band...yet all those elements coalesce. It's damn catchy and damn heavy...I just wish more people could have checked it out.

NDE's gonna have a new album called "End of Trust" out pretty soon. Watch for it. The odds are good that we will be talking to them right here at Wormwood.

Next up were perennial local faves Man Made Man, playing their first gig at Kryptonite. I attempted to do an interview with them to put on their upcoming DVD but the tape got chewed up. So much for my shot at fame and fortune...the Doctor is so ugly, the tape flew right out of the camcorder!

I have to say a lot of the Krypto crowd wasn't sure what to make of MMM. A fair amount of them were barflies coming from the nearby Toughman contest downtown that night. They weren't prepared for MMM's brutally downtuned and fairly noisy hardcore/industrial metal or frontman Sean's growls, shrieks and tirades. Man Made Man is not a particularly easy listen. Sean was his usual animated self, jumping up and down crazily, and I notice bassplayer Doug has really developed a good stage presence as of late. Only complaint I have about the set is that I've seen so much of it before. It is really time to freshen things up a little bit. We did get a new song "Undisputed" and it was the best track M3 played that night. A bit of a Fear Factory feel to it, with Sean's vocals catchier and more melodic than usual. More in this vein would be welcome.

That left the Heavils. It was pretty clear right away that they were really on their game tonight. I've never seen anything in my whole life like the rig Brian Carter played early in the show. It was a long industrial tube with deer antlers, a hunting scope and a microphone attrached to it! The guys from NDE (and most of the crowd) stood around and gaped at how such a bizarre instrument could be played so ferociously. This meanie should be called the "Deerhunter". In keeping with the hunting theme, Mossy wore a ridiculous orange hunting cap during the show. Sgt. Deth snapped some pretty cool pictures which you should be able to check out right here.

Mossy is one of the great characters of metal today. Running back and forth on the stage like a complete loon, asking the crowd "Can I say twat? Is that allowed anymore?" and generally entertaining everybody there, he looks like he would be just as much at home at a comedy club
or a mental ward. Such shennanigans conceal the fact that he is a brilliant musician.

They played quite a bit from their forthcoming, Devin Townsend-produced album and the new material is really promising. It didn't sound as "twangy" as the stuff on their debut, but it was pretty eccentric and ranged from all-out thrash to quirky weirdness. One tune called "FBI Man" (if I'm getting it right) has radio smash written all over it. Despite that, the new material is even heavier than before.

I had to bug out before the set actually finished, but take my word for it, the Heavils are going places. I have to mention how easily new drummer Toast has fit into the group and how much bassist Corey has advanced. They are ready to take the next big step up with their upcoming tours alongside SFU, Slipknot, Fear Factory, etc. All I can say to those headliners is watch out, you better be on your game if you don't want to get upstaged!

For the full set of pictures from this show click HERE